Founders Pale Ale (Dry Hopped)

Brewery: Founders Brewing Company
Country: USA
ABV: 5.4%
Style: American Pale Ale (APA)
Other Notes: 35IBU, 100% cascade hops, 163 calories (per 355ml)

Brewer Description: (from Founders website) A testament to Cascade hops in a bottle, this medium-bodied pale ale has a refreshing citrus flavor and a distinctive floral hop aroma due to the aggressive addition of hops during fermentation. You’ll notice a slight malty sweetness with a balanced hop finish. Perfect to enjoy anytime, anywhere.

My rating: 3/5
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.43
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.2

Intro: A 355ml bottle poured into a La Chouffe tulip glass. Bottle says best before 4th March 2015 so not exactly fresh, but tried a few days before best before date
Appearance: Poured a cloudy orange/copper with some floating residue, small head with very little retention
Aroma: Grassy, pine, mango and citrus
Taste: Starts crisp and grassy with very light bitter taste, ends with some caramel and alcohol
Mouthfeel: Crisp and dry with nice carbonation
Overall: Feels dry but goes down easy. Also disappointed with the alcohol appearing at the end

Founders Pale Ale (Dry Hopped)
Founders Pale Ale (Dry Hopped)
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Rainbow Seafood Restaurant

With the weather getting cooler, its that time again to enjoy eating outdoors. Some of these places include the fresh seafood restaurants of Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, there are three main areas to eat fresh seafood, Lamma Island, Sai Kung and Lei Yue Mun. In the past, I’ve eaten in all three areas a few times, but then after a bad experience in Sai Kung (food had lots of sand and I thought they cheated me with the bill) and a so-so experience in Lei Yue Mun (food was only so-so), the last few times, I have only been to eat at Lamma Island, and it looks to stay this way for a long time.

I have read several times, that people have been cheated etc… but I think if you’re smart about it, you will be fine. I think the main point is to stay away from those foods that are quoted as ‘market price’ since you really have no idea how they calculate this. Usually, this concerns the lobster and fish dishes.

Rainbow Seafood Restaurant

Rainbow Seafood Restaurant actually have their own free ferry service from Central and TST to Lamma Island. You should call ahead and make a booking. The timetable and phone number is on their website here: http://www.rainbowrest.com.hk/eng/timetable.asp. When you arrive at the pier, just find the designated person to note your arrival and they will give you a sticker and let you know when the ferry arrives. The free ferry is only for dinner from Monday to Friday, whereas Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays, there is a free ferry for both lunch and dinner. It takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour to arrive.

VIP sticker for boat
The boat arriving for pickup
The boat

You can order your food at the water tanks to see what kind of fresh seafood they have that day. At the same time, they have foods other than seafood on their menus.

Fresh seafood!
More seafood!
Full restaurant!

Boiled Shrimp (白灼中蝦) – The shrimp were steaming hot when they came out and were very fresh and sweet. Sometimes I like to dip it in a soy sauce and chili mixture, but this was so nice and juicy that it wasn’t necessary.
Fried Bamboo Clams with Black Bean Sauce and Chili (豉椒炒蟶子) – Normally I prefer the smaller ones which are about 10cm long. This time they only had the big ones about 20-23cm long. In any case, the clams were fresh with a nice texture and tasted great with the black bean sauce and slight spice (you have to eat the chili to get some spice though).
Steamed Scallops with Garlic and Vermicelli (蒜蓉粉絲蒸扇貝) – This is always my favourite dish. The scallops are fresh and the supporting cast of garlic, vermicelli, green onions and a bit of oil mixed together just delivers in taste. Although usually one per person is good, I usually order two for myself!!
Steamed Garoupa (清蒸石班) – The fish was fresh, but I thought that it was slightly overcooked. Still the meat at the tail-end (best part of the fish in my opinion) was still very nice and slippery.
Baked Lobster in Superior Sauce (上湯焗龍蝦) – Order the lobster off the menu at menu price. There is no need to order the lobster that is stated at ‘market price’. Certainly, those are supposed to be the bigger ones, but I think you will find that your bill will also be significantly more expensive. Just ask for a menu, and order the one off the menu with a stated price. Now back to the food. The lobster was nice and fresh as the meat was very juicy and succulent. Because it was fresh, it really did not need the sauce that it came with (but I’m not saying that the sauce was bad… it just wasn’t necessary).
Rainbow Special Fried Rice (天虹炒飯) – The fried rice is a mix of shrimp, BBQ pork, egg and green onions. It really isn’t anything special, but there to fill your stomach if the seafood hasn’t already.

Boiled Shrimp (白灼中蝦)
Fried Bamboo Clams with Black Bean Sauce and Chili (豉椒炒蟶子)
Steamed Scallops with Garlic and Vermicelli (蒜蓉粉絲蒸扇貝)
Steamed Garoupa (清蒸石班)
Steamed Garoupa (清蒸石班) opened up
Baked Lobster in Superior Sauce (上湯焗龍蝦)
Rainbow Special Fried Rice (天虹炒飯)

Just as a point of reference, this meal for 4 (lunch) was about $250 per person and we could not finish the fried rice. They also provide free fruit at the end of the meal.

Recommended:

  • Boiled Shrimp (白灼中蝦)
  • Steamed Scallops with Garlic and Vermicelli (蒜蓉粉絲蒸扇貝)

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Rainbow Seafood Restaurant
G/F, Shops 1A-1B,5,16-20,23-24, First Street, Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island
2982 8100

Makumba Africa Bar Lounge

Saw a Groupon for African food and I do love to try all sorts of foods. Besides, its been over 10 years since I was last on the African continent (Egypt/South Africa) so why not give it a try? The deal was $78 for a two-course meal with drink excluding service charge. I suspect if you order a la carte, it will be much more expensive. The restaurant was quite spacious but since most of the couch areas were big tables, we were seated at a bar table and it wasn’t too comfortable. They also have an area for the band to play, and while we were there too early, I think that the band would have been interesting to listen to.

Band area with some African looking instruments

Spicy Meatballs – The spicy meatballs were basically minced beef mixed with some aromatic African spices. The spices were spicy and gave the meatballs a nice kick.
African Spring Roll – There really wasn’t all that much filling inside the spring rolls such that I really would not have know what I was eating if I didn’t check the menu. In fact, the filling was a mix of minced chicken and spring onions. The spring rolls came with a chilli sauce that improved it, but perhaps not enough. It was also a bit oily.
Kedjenou – A dish that comes from Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast). It is a slow-chicken stew with some vegetables and a spicy kick to it. I thought that the dish was quite good. Everything went well together and is great served with rice. My main problem though is that it seems the restaurant is quite stingy on the chicken meat. There was maybe 3 pieces of meat in total, of which 2 were largely bone and seriously had very little meat on it.
Chaka – A fried fish dish served with onions and tomato in a lukewarm vinaigrette sauce. The fish was cooked quite nicely but maybe slightly salty. It was also quite bony, but nothing too bad as most of the bones were pretty big and easy to remove.
African Ginger Drink – Although the meal comes with a free regular drink, we decide to pay an extra $35 to try this African ginger drink. When they say ginger, it seriously has a strong ginger taste to it. I actually could not tell if there was any alcohol added to it, but I suspect there might have been a splash or two. I’m not too big of a ginger fan so don’t recommend it unless you really like ginger.

Spicy Meatballs & African Spring Roll
Kedjenou - slow cooked chicken stew
Chaka - fried fish
African Ginger Drink

At the end of it all, I really didn’t feel too filled and still had the urge to eat elsewhere. In addition, I’m not so sure this place is all that worth it if you didn’t get the Groupon deal as it seems quite expensive for the amount offered.

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Makumba Africa Bar Lounge
G/F, 48 Peel Street, Soho, Central, Hong Kong
2522 0544

Liberty Exchange Kitchen and Bar

I wanted to try this place out for a while. Luckily I didn’t have to plan anything as it was picked for a friend’s birthday. We got the private room inside and the great thing was that there was no minimum charge. They had some decent beers on tap, and as I love my dark beers these days, I naturally picked a pint of Leffe Brune.

Liberty Exchange Kitchen and Bar

AMUSE BOUCHE
Crispy Mozzarella Ball
The mozzarella ball came as an amuse bouche. It was crispy on the ourside but unfortunately the cheese inside was only lukewarm so it wasn’t as good as it could have been. The tomato and the greens balanced out the fried factor.

Crispy Mozzarella Ball

STARTERS
8-hr French Onion Soup – blended gruyere . white cheddar
I’m guessing that this means the soup was cooked for 8-hours. The soup itself was thick and very flavourful. The caramelized onions were sweet and went well with the slight salt of the cheese. The bread was soft from soaking up the soup. Actually I prefer some of my bread to be crispy still so perhaps would have preferred the bread on the side. But I don’t want to take away from the soup because it was still really good.

8-hr French Onion Soup

Liberty Steak Tartare – truffle mayonnaise . soft boiled quail’s egg . parmesan fries
The beef tartare had a sweet taste to it and was wonderful in the mouth. The parmesan fries were pretty good but it was the truffle mayonnaise that really perks up the fries. However, I wish the quail egg was actually runny. On the menu it does say that the quail egg is soft boiled, but clearly mine is not. Runny yolk all over the steak tartare would have been wonderful… Can’t you just imagine it?

Liberty Steak Tartare

MAINS
Buttermilk Fried Chicken – house cornbread . spring vegetables . caramelized honey gravy
Honestly, I’m not sure why I’m comparing a restaurant like Liberty with KFC when you look at the price, comfort etc… (perhaps its ingrained in my mind that KFC = fried chicken). KFC fried chicken is good, but this is even better! I have to say that I was very impressed with the fried chicken here. The chicken was of a very nice quality and despite it appearing dry on the outside, the meat inside was completely different. There was a mix of dark and white meat. Normally I prefer dark meat because it is fatter and thus harder to screw up and dry out. While the chicken legs and thighs from KFC are usually nice, the breast is usually a bit dry. At Liberty, both the dark and white meats were amazingly juicy and succulent. It was so good, that it really did not need the gravy. The vegetables were nothing to shout about but was good with the spare gravy. The cornbread on the other hand was like the chicken, very good. It was warm and amazingly tasty with a slight crunch as you bite into it for great texture. I could have eaten a lot more of the cornbread!

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Pig Trio (Loin, Belly, Shoulder) – roasted loin . confit belly . guinness braised shoulder . stewed lentils . charred brussel sprouts . curried cauliflower puree
The pork trio consisted of the pork belly, pork shoulder and pork loin on a bed of lentils and cauliflower mash. The pork belly while still fatty, was less fatty than I expected. It was very juicy with all the fat and tasted great. It was my second time trying pork shoulder recently, and for some reason, again I am left disappointed. The pork shoulder was shredded but had a dry and tough feel to it. In the mouth it was quite chewy. Last but not least, the pork loin was the best. The knife could cut through easily and it was extremely tender and moist. It tasted superb and reminded me of really good and expensive sausage. The lentils and mashed potatoes were also really nice and went well with the trio of pork. It actually did help the dry-ish pork shoulder improve.

Pig Trio (Loin, Belly, Shoulder)

Overall, I do recommend visiting Liberty Exchange. The food here is nice and not too expensive. There are a few other dishes I would like to try still, especially the Tamarind Braised Beef Short Rib with Crispy Polenta, Glazed Daikon and Pickled Red Onions.

Recommended:

  • 8-hr French Onion Soup
  • Liberty Steak Tartare
  • Buttermilk Fried Chicken
  • Pig Trio (Loin, Belly, Shoulder)

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Liberty Exchange Kitchen and Bar
G/F, Exchange Square Two, 8 Connaught Road Central, Central, Hong Kong
2810 8400

T & K Seafood (Bangkok)

Along with Somboon, this is a popular place for locals and tourists to eat seafood. The restaurant is basically just a whole bunch of tables and chairs setup outside on one of the many street corners of Chinatown. When we got there, there were a lot of people crowding around the edge waiting for a table and the waitstaff were just buzzing about handing out food and clearing tables. However, despite its popularity, I do prefer the more local Noi Seafood located within the Huai Kwang nightmarket.

Busy busy restaurant!

We were handed a ticket and despite looking like it would take a while, we did not have to wait long as turnover was pretty fast. While waiting, the waitstaff were also kind enough to take our order ahead of time, such that when we did get a table, the food could just come out.

Tom Yum Goong – There was a good amount of shrimp in the soup and it tasted pretty good, but it just wasn’t spicy enough.
Shark Fin Soup – The soup was good and there is coriander, bean sprouts and vinegar available as condiments. Worth a try if you like shark fin.
Oyster Omelet – Excellently cooked as the oysters were fresh and the egg slightly crisp. It was also not too oily and was good with the slight crunch of the half-cooked bean sprouts. This was the one dish I really thought was superb.
Thai Prawn Cakes – Your standard Thai prawn cakes. Nice with the sauce and not too oily either.
Stir-fried Clams with Chilli and Basil – The clams were fresh and went really well with the chilli and basil. The chilli gave a nice spice to the dish and spruced it up.
Grilled Mussels with Lemongrass and Basil – The mussels were a good size and tasted good with the lemongrass and basil.
Grilled Prawns – We had to chase the prawns a couple of times as it took forever to arrive even though everything else was pretty much cleared. The prawns were nice and tasty but they weren’t nearly as big as the ones that we had at Noi Seafood. Really recommend going to Noi Seafood if you want the best grilled prawns (taste and size)!
Stir-fried Crab Meat with Yellow Curry Powder – This dish is for the lazy person as the crab meat is already separated from the shell for you and mixed with a yellow curry. It was so good we had to order another dish after we finished the first one. Eating it by itself is a bit rich, but it is perfect to mix with rice. In fact, we saw some guy sitting at a table opposite us who only ordered the crab curry and a plate of rice. Smart!!
Crab Meat Fried Rice – The fried rice itself was fine but it definitely could have used more crab meat!
Stir-fried Morning Glory – Fresh and tasty but perhaps could use a bit more spice.

Tom Yum Goong - could have been more spicy
Shark Fin Soup
Oyster Omelet - excellent dish, highly recommended to try
Thai Prawn Cakes
Stir-fried Clams with Chilli and Basil
Grilled Mussels with Lemongrass and Basil
Grilled Prawns - smaller than I expected as the ones at Noi Seafood were huge!!
Stir-fried Crab Meat with Yellow Curry Powder - Yummm!! A great dish!
Crab Meat Fried Rice
Stir-fried Morning Glory

While this is an experience in itself, I still recommend eating at Noi Seafood over T & K Seafood for better food and value. But definitely come for the experience, atmosphere and the Oyster Omelet.

Recommended:

  • Oyster Omelet
  • Stir-fried Crab Meat with Yellow Curry Powder
  • Stir-fried Clams with Chilli and Basil

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T & K Seafood
49-51 Soi Phadung Dao, Yaowarat, Chinatown, Bangkok, Thailand
+66 02 223 4519

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